Silent French film The Artist scored nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress and Best Actor when the Oscar nominations were announced by Jennifer Lawrence in Los Angeles on Tuesday (24 January 2012). However, it was Martin Scorsese 's magical tale 'Hugo' that led the way with 11 nominations.

Actress Berenice Bejo received a nod for her supporting work, while Jean Dujardin landed a nomination for Best Actor, which means he'll go head-to-head with George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Gary Oldman come the ceremony in February.

Elsewhere, director MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS finds himself in the same category as Alexander Payne (The Descendants) Martin Scorsese (Hugo), Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris) and Terrence Malick (The Tree Of Life). The Artist was also named among the nominees for Best Picture and is the overwhelming favorite to beat rivals including War Horse, Moneyball, The Descendants, The Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, however, Hugo's haul of nominations give it every chance of causing an upset. Though the silent movie was expected to dominate the nominations, there were some surprises, with Melissa McCarthy landing a nod for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the comedy hit 'Bridesmaids'. Though a huge honor for the actress, she'll find it difficult to wrestle the award from Octavia Spencer (The Help).

The Academy Awards comes live for the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on February 26th 2012. This year's ceremony will be hosted by veteran comedian BILLY CRYSTAL.